After leaving the armey he joined the Chicago Sun-Times and worked his way up to becoming the paper's Washington bureau. In 1974 Kondracke's name was on President Richard Nixon's enemies list. He would go on to serve as a senior editor for The New Republic from 1977 to 1991. In 1994 he was awarded the Washington Post's "Crystal Ball Award" for predicting the Republican takeover of Congress.
Kondracke has made cameo appearances as himself in Dave (1993) and Independence Day (1996).